Cultural Intelligence Worksheet: A Complete Guide
Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between lend me your ears… Or rather, your eyes – because, well, you’re reading this. I’m your friendly curious scribbler, armed with my jazzy skills to put some light – and a few laughs, of course – on a topic that’s no longer just the elephant in the room. It’s a mammoth! And it goes by the name – Cultural Intelligence.
Are you eye-rolling and thinking, “Not another corporate buzzword?”
Hold your horses, my friend! Allow me to navigate you through this cultural jungle where Tarzan is not the king but, wait for it… the culturally intelligent (CQ) one. And I promise, it will be as delectably delightful as your morning coffee, minus the caffeine jitters!
If you want to skip all the extra fluff and jump right into the worksheet, download the PDF below!
What Is Cultural Intelligence?
Cultural Intelligence, as defined by Soon Ang and Linn Van Dyne in their book ‘Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures’, is the ability to work effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds.
Such a dry, jargon-filled definition, don’t you think?
Let’s jazz this up a bit, here’s my definition: Cultural intelligence (CQ) is the ability to relate and ADAPT to people from other cultures.
It is not about being able to recite chants from a Maori ‘Haka’ or knowing the precise number of different cheeses in France (over 1,000 in case you’re curious). It’s the MacGyver-like skill of blending into different cultures without sticking out like a sombrero at a sushi bar.
It’s having the fluidity of a Bollywood dancer, the confidence of a New York City cab driver, the grace of a Japanese geisha, and the survival spirit of a dingo in the outback, all while appreciating the cultural nuances of others. It’s about communicating ideas as effectively as an Italian (cue dramatic hand gestures) and listening with the attentiveness of a Zen monk.
Imagine you’re at a party and each culture has a different dance style. The room suddenly goes from a swaying waltz to a bumping salsa. If caught unawares, you might trip on your two left feet! But, if you’re culturally intelligent, you’ll switch gears smoothly and keep up with everyone on the dance floor!
In the global business arena, CQ is quickly becoming as vital as protein in a bodybuilder’s diet.
ACCORDING to Ang, Van Dyne, and Yee Ng’s 2007 research, culturally intelligent folks demonstrate better decision-making, enhance their innovation and adaptability, and prove better at conflict resolution. Businesses with a high CQ are like skilled surfers; they “ride the wave” of cultural diversity instead of sinking!
But let’s not stop at the workplace.
Cultural Intelligence is equally important even when you switch off your laptops and step outside. Ever rolled sushi only to realize that it looks more like a botched knitting job? Or trying to navigate through a bustling street market in Cairo while dodging enthusiastic vendors and hyperactive camels?
Enter Cultural Intelligence. Not only does it save you from awkward giggles, but also enriches your experiences when exploring different corners of our delightful and diverse planet.
A Guide to Becoming a Cultural Intelligence Maestro
The road to Cultural Intelligence (CQ) isn’t like the Yellow Brick Road. There’s no magical wizard handing out cultural of-iness at the end. As Ang, Van Dyne, and Ng suggested in their 2007 study, the journey toward gaining CQ can be broken down into four digestible stages. Like transforming from a confused kitten into a sleek, cultural jungle panther.
Step 1: The Metacognitive Stage (aka “The Big Think”)
This is when you channel your inner Sherlock Holmes. Observe, deduce, and analyze cultural aspects. Why do Spaniards have dinner at midnight while Kenyans seem to have it as soon as they’re done with lunch?
Start asking questions, then ask more questions, and then, when you’re tired, ask even more questions. Remember, curiosity didn’t kill the cat; it just made him more culturally intelligent!
Step 2: Cognitive Stage (aka “The Homework Phase”)
Arm yourself with knowledge, my friend. Earley and Peterson (2004) suggest that understanding the similarities and differences across cultures is essential.
So, grab a hot cup of Chai, curl up on your couch, and dive into some research. Find out why your London colleague is so obsessed with the weather, or why your Chinese friend gives and receives a business card with both hands.
Remember, knowledge is power, and in this case, power means not making a cultural fool of yourself. Cue laughter.
Step 3: Motivational Stage (aka “The Staying Power”)
CQ isn’t just about having the knowledge, but also the drive and interest to interact with other cultures.
In a 2013 study, scholars Thomas and Inkson suggested that it’s all about the ability to direct attention and energy toward learning about and functioning in intercultural situations. It’s like biking uphill. You’ve got to keep pedaling!
So, wake up! Strap on your boots, get off that comfy couch and immerse yourself in different cultures. Attend a colorful Diwali celebration, participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or simply, familiarize yourself with your Mexican friend’s obsession with telenovelas (no judgments here).
Step 4: The Behavioral Stage (aka “Action!”)
Time to put on your dancing shoes and boogie, my cultured friend! Here’s where you need to show your adaptive behavior. Whether it’s adjusting your communication style or modifying your body language, this is the big show, folks!
Just remember – it’s not about imitating or mocking the culture but about respect and adaptation. It’s okay to feel awkward initially. As they say, “Fake it till you make it,” or in this case, “Stumble till you Samba.”
Remember, you’re not alone – these things take time!
In the end, developing CQ is like creating your own personal world map, full of vibrant colors and different landscapes. It’s a journey, not a destination. So, my aspiring cultural panthers, grab your compass, buckle up, and get ready to navigate the cultural jungle!
So, hasta la vista, senoritas, and senors, and remember – the world is a symphony, and to create harmony, you need to understand its rhythms!